Views on aging in selection: HR implications

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Jeske, Debora
Setti, Annalisa
Gibbons, Daisy Beth
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Emerald Publishing Limited
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Purpose: It is well-known that stereotypes on aging and perceptions about the suitability of certain jobs for certain age groups can influence performance ratings. However, it is unclear whether and how subjective views on aging are associated with judgment on someone else’s performance. The purpose of this study is to explore the role of aging perceptions and images of aging on performance ratings for a fictitious set of male candidates with different age and job profiles. Ratings of interest were job suitability, developmental potential, interpersonal skills and performance capacity. Design/methodology/approach: Using an online survey format, data was collected from 203 Irish and UK employees to assess how they evaluated different fictitious candidates for a local development committee. The age and mentorship status of the candidates were also manipulated. Findings: The age or mentoring status of the candidate did not play a significant role in how they were rated. Multiple regression analyses indicated, however, that participants’ aging perceptions and aging images had a significantly positive influence on how they rated the fictitious candidates (after controlling for participant variables such as age and experience). However, positive images of aging and aging perceptions on the part of the participants predicted more positive overall job suitability ratings, developmental potential, interpersonal skills and performance capacity. When the participants had more negative views on aging, they would also allocate lower ratings. Originality/value: The results indicate that employee attitudes about aging play a role in how they will rate others. Given the importance of potential rating bias, the authors propose a number of training interventions that human resource professionals may be able to carry out to positively shape the informational basis for more negative aging attitudes.
Training , Attitudes , Bias , Aging
Jeske, D., Setti, A. and Gibbons, D. (2019), ‘Views on aging in selection: HR implications’, Strategic HR Review. doi: 10.1108/SHR-04-2019-0029
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